Dating : The Muddle of Emotions

h2>Dating : The Muddle of Emotions

Nidhi P Sharma

Part 1: The Melancholy

In the well-lighted room, with the bed facing the study table, Reshma was lying on the bed, on her stomach looking through the window on her right, with gloomy moistened light brown eyes, the bright blue sky rarely visible during monsoons of Mumbai, thinking so this is how a heartbreak feels… emptiness… a vacuum that seems impossible to fill… my heart beats but it should not beat for him… I will not cry… yes, it hurts… it hurts a lot… but I won’t show the depth of my wounds to anyone… A message on her phone broke the stream of consciousness, she turned her phone upside down and ignored the message. “Come have lunch,” came the voice of her mother, a gentle, loving, and soothing voice that made her want to hug her and tell her how broken she felt. “Coming,” she replied in a brittle voice, “Coming,” she made her voice loud and clear, she felt her lip shaking, she said no I won’t let anyone know what I feel, not even my mother, there is no point dragging her in my sadness… After collecting herself, she steadily stood up. She went to the dining room to have lunch with her mother.

“So how is the curry today? ” Reshma’s mother asked her. “It’s delicious, Mommy,” replied Reshma. Reshma’s’ mother got preoccupied with her own thoughts and in the noise of her own thoughts, she didn’t hear the silence at the dinner table — which was rare with Reshma around, she was a talkative person with a whole lot to share. Reshma helped her mommy clear up and went back into her room. She was in half sitting half sleeping position, slumped against three cushions on her bed. Since it was a weekend the next day, she took a break from office work and tried hard to sleep but couldn’t, as her mind was racing with thoughts about what went wrong, where did she make mistake, why did she trust twice the same person?… She yelled to her mind stop this, I wish to sleep… please… and stop aching… clasping her straight silky hair and stopping the urge to pull them. She gulped down her anger and frustration took her hands off her hair and picked up her mobile scrolling through messages, one message was from her work, her boss Kamat, which read: “I am sorry if I bothered you with some personal questions.” Reading this made her curious to look into the previous message sent by Kamat, a fair tall handsome man in her office, which was her boss. The message read, “Hi, how are you doing? I was thinking about you. I just wanted to ask if you go to parties? “ Is there anything personal in this, I don’t think so and if there is I won’t answer even if you are the Boss, Why men ask stupid personal questions and then say sorry she thought, feeling a little annoyed the only problem is why he was thinking about me, I don’t think the impromptu presentation I gave was that bad… it was up to the point and in a moment she couldn’t stop but ask Kamat whether her presentation was good enough.

As if Kamat was waiting for her reply instantly messaged, “Oh it was great and you are conscientious. Your brilliant presentation convinced me you only work. That’s why I asked whether you have a social life at all or no, do you party at all? ”

She hesitated and thought what nonsense how can anyone just work and not have a social life she was in her pajamas taking her anger out on someone who had no fault in causing her to feel what she was feeling and replied “Well I have a social life but I party with only close family and friends.”

He asked, “Would you like to go party with me someday then?”

Why I will go to a party with my boss… I don’t know why people think I am such an easy target… I don’t want to go to any parties now…. do I look like a fool to not understand this move… she got exasperated but maybe I am a fool she gasped.

“Sir, I don’t think I will be comfortable partying with my boss,” she replied, restraining herself from appearing rude. It was so unlike her as she was unapologetically herself — be it rude, loving, caring, sweet, careless, sarcastic, talkative or bitter; it never bothered her how the other person felt. But she had changed now, she realized how painful it could be to get hurt from someone you like or love, she never would do such a thing to anyone now.

“Well okay, then we can try to be friends or maybe family;)”

This is how it all starts, can I be your friend… when it’s over it hurts… she thought emptily gazing at the light blue curtains to her left, biting her lips and frowning, then she looked around, this bright room never ever seemed this dull before dejection. She looked back at the mobile screen and replied, “Sir, Can we talk about this later? I am sleepy, good night, Sir.”

She turned her phone upside down and closed her eyes.

“You can call me Kamat. Good night and sweet dreams:)” read the message from Kamat which she didn’t even bother to read. She knew that she won’t be able to sleep, so she worked the entire night.

Part 2: The Reminiscence of the First Meeting

It was Saturday and Reshma’s mother planned to go to Krishna temple near their place, and Reshma accompanied her mother. They left their slippers outside the temple and entered the temple after washing their hands. The temple was big; it smelled sweet like cardamom and with the smell of sandalwood from incense sticks, its walls were decorated with orange and yellow garlands, beautiful hand carvings were visible on the ceilings, there were portraits of Lord Krishna on walls, depicting various stages of his life — birth, youth, adult and his many miracles — she loved the one with Him dancing on the Kalia — the dreaded, multi-hooded Naga, it is the depiction of a tale in which Krishna defeats his gargantuan Naga, Kalia, residing in Yamuna river and after victory dances on him and play the flute, all this done with a smile on his face… we should go through the trials, setbacks, and rejections of life with ease, smiling through them and dancing through tough times… This thought made her open her mind to her feelings and realize that life did not end and that was a meager incident that had made her wiser, the only thing is she needs to take the right lessons from it… Move On? Yes, I am deeply hurt but I am wiser… I need to just let it out and let it go… she thought with watery eyes as they dawdled to take darshan of Krishna’s idol, the biggest one there, in the center of the temple, decorated in pink colored clothes, with beautiful golden ornaments and flute decorated with pearls and hangings in the right hand of the idol.

In the ringing of temple bells and singing of bhajan, she just saw deep into the idols’ eyes and it was like she was talking to God through the language of eyes, she felt that something heavy was removed from her heart. She was ready to face it and ready to remove the burden from her heart, share her heart with God, she closed her eyes — Reshma’s heart was in desiderium and her mind wandered when she first met Neerav as if she was letting go of everything by observing — her feelings, pain, emotions, and memories and by sharing it with Him… I am pouring my thoughts and feelings into your graciousness… guide me out of this gloom… my God… I am your child and I am in your lap… just cuddle me and soothe my pain… She thought her face pale and doleful, teary eyes downcast and her mind was reliving memories that were still fresh…


Two years ago, that day, it was raining; it was July. The office bus dropped her off at the bus stand near her home in the evening. It was dark and inconspicuous, heavy showers with the wind made it difficult to keep the umbrella from flying away. She was walking towards her building, on the way she took some fruits and vegetables from the vendor on the pavement and carried two heavy bags with her into the Meridian Society, she entered the big gates and one of the three security men guarding the society gate wished her good evening, there was a clock at the center of the wall near the watchman cabin, it showed seven, she trotted towards her building when she heard a deep voice, easy to distinguish among the noise of children playing in the shaded area near the garden at the center of the society, surrounded by all the buildings of society, “You need help with the bags.”

She looked back, a handsome man with a square face, black eyes, and brown complexion, wearing shorts and a striped t-shirt, indicated with his hand to give a bag to him. Tired of carrying the bags and umbrella she nodded, “Sure, can you take one of these, please” and he took the bag from her hand, her hand had got marks from the handle of bags. “Thank you… mm.”

“Neerav is my name,” he said, looking at bright face shining in the dark like the moon.

“Have never seen you. You stay in this society only?” asked Reshma with a slight smile.

“I am staying here since I was in school, maybe you came after I moved to Jaipur for my job…” he responded with raised eyebrows, “… now I left that job and came here,” he said with a smile, noticing the melody in her voice.

“Okay,” she beamed.

“You didn’t tell me your name,” demanded Neerav.

“Oh right! I am Reshma, nice to meet you,” she said casually while they crossed the garden area and reached their building. “So which wing you stay in Neerav?” she repeated his name deliberately to not forget it later.

“I am staying in the B wing,” said Neerav.

“Same here,” beamed Reshma

“Great, so you can carry my bag for some more time,” she joked.

“Why not?” said Neerav smiling back and staring at Reshma in her light brown eyes and noticing her oval face, fair luminous skin, slender body away from the darkness of night as they entered the illumination of the building and entering the elevator.

“I stay on this floor,” Reshma muttered, avoiding the stare and, indicating Neerav to hand over the bag to her.

“Oh..right..” Neerav said and handed over the bags to Reshma who came out of the lift on the ninth floor and said “Bye… thank you.” with a soft smile.

“My pleasure, Goodbye, Goodnight.” he smiled back.

She was home, greeted by her mother — a healthy-looking woman, wearing a saree, oval face and black eyes, a lady of high self-esteem, proud of her daughter and loving, with a smile. Reshma smiled and said here is what you asked for mommy, showing her the bags she carried in her hands. “Where should I keep them?” she asked.

“Keep them in the kitchen on the stand, freshen up then we will have dinner,” Reshma’s mother said. Reshma was sitting with her mother at the dinner table discussing her day at the office.

“There is a lot of work and I will have to do overtime tomorrow,” she said.

“Okay, but take care of your health also dear, don’t worry so much about work, after we deliver this project, take a week off, we will go to Lonavala, it will relax you besides after marriage, I won’t get any time with you,” her mother asserted.

Let’s change the topic she thought. “I met this guy Neerav who stays in our building only. He helped me with bags.”

“I know no one by that name but Mumbaikars are helpful,” she replied. Reshma’s mother felt like home in Mumbai; it was the only place she had not condemned even once after they shifted many years back. Vashi was closer to Reshma’s office and a peaceful place away from the crowded suburbs.

They finished dinner, cleared up the table and went into their rooms wishing each other good night. Reshma slept like a baby and woke up early for a Sunday. It was a rainy day with the noise of rain splashing the windows; She drank her tea with mommy, sitting in the balcony, reading the newspaper. “What a beautiful rainy day, isn’t it?” asked Mommy.

“Yes, and that with this invigorating tea is a deadly combination,” said Reshma.

“This paper is full of scams! Don’t know when will our country progress!” said Reshma inflamed with the feeling of despondency.

“That’s true, we have the capability but we need people of responsibility at the top.”


“Now, Can you please get ready for going to the temple.”

“Yeah, Sure.”

They went to the Krishna temple near their place. They entered the temple; It smelled sweet like cardamom and with the smell of Indian rose from incense sticks. It was a beautiful Krishna idol decorated with red color clothes. Reshma sat beside her mother, who closed her eyes and got busy chanting her usual incantation. She looked around at kids in the temple running around and playing, the elderly sitting on chairs, adults sitting on the floor with folded legs listening to the “aarti” and clapping their hands. Reshma closed her eyes and murmured Thank you God for this lovely Job, after switching so many jobs I finally landed up at a place where I feel satisfied with my job. Thank you for my and mothers’ best health. Love you, God. Thanks for everything — health, happiness, family, and friends… And yes… Support my friend, she had a heartbreak, give her strength to go through this… Great… that’s it… See ya… She opened her eyes and saw her mother still murmuring incantations, “puja thali” was passed along and “prasad” was getting distributed now that Aarti had finished. Reshma’s mother opened her eyes, with joined hands she stood up along with her daughter and collected “prasad”. They came out of the temple after ringing temple bell, wore slippers and left the temple. They entered the building, “Mommy, he is Neerav,” Reshma said, pointing at Neerav who was waiting for the lift.

“Hi,” said Reshma when they reached their building.

“Hi,” said Neerav with a pleasant look on his face.

“She is my mom,” Reshma said to Neerav looking at her mother.

“Hello aunty,” said Neerav.

This was just the second meeting, but Reshma didn’t know that Neerav took her number from their common friend Tanisha, who also stayed in the same building, from the time even before Reshma came here and had known Neerav before she became friends with Reshma. Neerav saw Tanisha, a tall girl, skinny, square face, big nose, and squeaky voice and Reshma talking the other day and asked Tanisha if she knew Reshma, she said yes and without Reshma’s consent; she gave Reshma’s number to Neerav. Tanisha met Neerav that evening, they were chit-chatting under shaded area beside the pool in their building and Neerav said Tanisha that he wanted to be Reshma’s friend,” get her to be my friend, will you?” requested Neerav.

“Don’t act so desperate, she will run away, will never be your friend if you behave in such a way, “ came the response. “Here take her number and don’t let her know I gave her number to you.”


“Last time there was this friend of ours, Payal, who gave her number to some random guy who harassed her, stalking her, so she broke friendship with that friend, which was the right thing to do I guess.”

“I am not a random guy, okay, ” barked Neerav, “You know me, don’t you?”

“Yeah, that’s why I am giving you her number,” asserted Tanisha.

So they both decided next weekend Tanisha will call Reshma to meet her and “accidentally” meet Neerav.


That week went by like a flash for Reshma as there was work overload in her office. She reached home late every day. The next weekend, sitting on the sofa, late in the morning, drinking tea, Reshma saw the message from Tanisha, “Hi, I don’t have to go to the office this weekend, are you free this Saturday evening, can we meet?”

“Yeah, Sure, since when do you have to take my appointment to meet, call me when you come down.” What happened to her, she sounded so formal, Reshma wondered. Anyway, I will complete pending office work by evening then.

“Okay, see you”.

By evening, Reshma was about to finish her office work when Tanisha called, “Hi, so we can meet after 20 minutes.”

“Yes, I am about to finish my work, but where we will meet?”

“Let’s meet in the garden.”

“Cool, see ya.”

“See ya.”

Great, I will feel fresh after talking to her… Something apart from work…


They were sitting in the shaded area near the garden, watching the rain-drenched garden and trees. They hugged. “So how was your day?” asked Tanisha.

“Good. Because I had to meet you I completed all my office work today which I thought won’t be over by tomorrow also, so thanks to you as I will be free tomorrow.”

“Hahaha, Don’t thank me, thank…” she was on the brink of revealing that Neerav wanted to meet her but she hesitated and said, “… my boss who gave me these two days off”.

Reshma smiled and said, “You know me…”

Tanisha broke the conversation.

“Hi Neerav, when did you come here?” she asked as if rehearsed but monotonously.

“Hi, just a few weeks back, Hi Reshma.”

“Hello Neerav, you know each other,” Reshma asked looking puzzled at Tanisha.

“Yes, we went to the same school,” replied Tanisha.


“So can I join you two,” he asked looking at Reshma who noticed that a little late and then replied “Sure” without giving him a place to sit and expecting Tanisha to move near her to give him space to sit, but he noticed and found space besides Reshma and asked her “So how was your temple visit last Saturday morning,” Reshma shifted near Tanisha to create space for him on her left side and replied: “I don’t recollect telling you that,” looking confused and suspicious.

“Well, you had the kumkum bindi on your forehead, so it was kind of obvious to me…”

What a show-off Reshma thought, but ya he is also a gentleman who helped with the bags she smiled and replied: “Yes it was good as usual.”

“So you are coming to play squash this week in the club?” Neerav asked turning to Tanisha.

“Yes, why not?” she replied.

“You go to play squash every week,” said Reshma, shocked and feeling betrayed. “You didn’t tell me. I know you are great in sports unlike me but should have at least informed me.” Neerav was keenly observing Reshma all this while but trying to pretend to use his mobile.

“Look I should have told and I am sorry,” said Tanisha looking at Reshma… “It’s okay” came the reply… “Thanks, Neerav, I shouldn’t have…” ranted Tanisha glaring at Neerav, furious, this made him flinch back and panicking that Tanish would reveal something she shouldn’t he completed her sentence “…let me sit here… but you are a good friend of mine, plus you should have told Reshma…”

“Reshma why don’t you join us in our game,” asked Neerav.

“I am not good at sports,” replied Reshma.

“As an audience, just to see and who knows you can get interested and play someday,” said Neerav smiling and observing her reaction… ”We are allowed to bring one nonmember to the club for the game.”

“Okay, then text me when and where we will meet to go to the club.”

“I will text you,” said Tanisha.

“It slipped my mind to email my boss about my work, I will rush home, see you, bye,” said Reshma in a panicky voice, got up hurriedly and hustled away from the bench but fell on Neerav’s lap, Neerav held her with one arm around her waist and others around her back, she muttered, “I am sorry.” “It’s okay,” he said and glared at her red face while helping her stand but her hair was stuck in his wristwatch, she tried to remove it hastily, her eyes too heavy to lift and sweat on her forehead, dry lips, she had never been so close to any man before, her hands became cold and she knew that Neerav was still staring at her face, finally, when it was released, she achieved her balance and with a sweeping glance at Neerav she left with a perturbed smile.

Part 3: The Dawn of Love

How embarrassing… How embarrassing… I don’t know how did I fall… nervous and displeased with herself, Reshma sat in the room, lying on the bed on her back, cursing that moment of awkwardness between her and Neerav. Hopefully, Neerav forgets it, She thought. But deep within she knew the hands on her waist and on her back meant a lot of care.

Later that week, Reshma was sitting in a relaxed posture on her bed with cushions supporting her back and laptop in her lap above another cushion, working calmly, when she received a message from an unknown number, “How was your day? Wishing you all the best for the certification exam.” This message made her wonder who is this person, probably from the office who knows about her exam.

She replied, “Thank you for your best wishes. May I know who is this?”

“Your admirer and well-wisher” this message made her sit up tightly and leave her laptop aside, her face terrified and eyes wide open, stomach churned, and heart raced. She was fearful about the sender of the message being her stalker, but she had changed the number since that time. Her mind ran to action should I report this number or block it because calling is not a good idea here, that’s what the stalker would want… They occupied her mind when the phone beeped “I think I scared you. This is Neerav. I was kidding.” This message steadied her nerves, and she sighed in relief, closing her eyes, her face color returning to normal and then she replied: “Not at all. I guessed it.” Tanisha must have told him. Nothing stays in her stomach she thought but she relaxed thinking that it wasn’t what she dreads and that was more than enough.


They decided to meet on Sunday afternoon; it was raining as usual in Mumbai, Reshma was waiting in the shaded area near the pool, she was standing with hands clasped at the back watching the beauty of raindrops vehemently contact the pool water causing ripples in it, the cool current touched her soft, glowy skin and ruffled her hair. She glanced at her watch and after waiting for another five minutes, she noticed Tanisha with an umbrella in one hand and racquet in another, wearing black track pants, a pink t-shirt, and running shoes, striding towards her with such celerity that Reshma giggled, “I thought you will tumble,” she said when Tanisha came and stood beside her.

“Why are you in this jeans top?”, asked Tanisha.

“Because I will be the audience and you don’t force me to play,” asserted Reshma.

“Okay, now where has Neerav gone? We will be late… I will call him,” said Tanisha, and she had just taken her phone out to call him, then he appeared in a dark blue knee-length sports shorts and a black t-shirt, his black scraggly bristly hair wet and dripping water when he blabbed “I was preoccupied didn’t realize I was late, but it’s not too late we can reach fast, now the rain has stopped.” Reshma and Tanisha grabbed the umbrella and paced towards society entrance where they waited for a rickshaw, some rickshaw went by without paying heed to their gesture to stop, after waiting for a while they found a rickshaw which stopped and they asked “Vashi Sports Association?” the rickshaw driver spoke indistinctly “shiiiid dawn” with betel leaf in his mouth, Neerav was waiting for Reshma to sit so he can sit beside her and Reshma went inside first thinking she will be followed by Tanisha who was standing beside her but Neerav gave Tanisha a hint to let him go first and this made Reshma think Does he like me… no… no… can’t be… Rubbish.

They reached the club, got out of the rickshaw with umbrellas, paid the fare and later distributed it. Reshma sat on the black sofa on the opposite side of reception, near the lift, there was a small side table beside the sofa that had a beautiful lamp in the shape of a tree with glowing leaves, while the other two were talking to the lady at the reception who was wearing plain red saree with a thin border and her face glowed because of heavy makeup. The place felt lively and had a fragrance of fresh lavender, she could see people rushing up and down the stairs in sportswear, her eyes got transfixed on the sculpture of a boy wearing shorts and a t-shirt with a tennis racquet in the right hand and gesturing to serve the ball, it felt as if he was directing it towards her when her attention got diverted by Tanisha’s voice “Come let’s go,” her hand gesturing Reshma to come upstairs with them. She followed them by stairs on the first floor looking at wall hangings with snaps of famous personalities visiting this club.


They reached the squash court, Tanisha and Neerav took out the racquets and a soft rubber ball. “You can sit here.” Tanisha gestured Reshma to a bench outside the squash court. “Cheer for me,” Neerav said raising his eyebrows and pointing his index finger at Reshma, winked at her while walking backward and then turned around to join Tanisha in the court. What was that she thought with a confused look on her face I am not even angry… what is it about this person… if someone else would have winked at me I would have become furious and would refuse to see that person’s face… I just hate I am not reacting at this… The game had started and Neerav served the ball and it bounced towards Tanisha, Tanisha struck the ball vehemently, but Neerav was prepared and he struck the ball with vigor and Tanisha dropped it. The game continued for fifteen minutes with Tanisha dropping the ball twice. The game continued and Reshma could hear pounding of ball smashing against the walls indicating her that the game will continue for some more time. Reshma didn’t understand the rules of the game but by observing Tanisha’s frowned face and dropped chin when they came out of court after winding up, Reshma could deduce that she had lost the game. “You played well today,” said Neerav.

“Ya ya, but you get two days to practice and I get only one.”

“Exactly that is why I said that you did well, why don’t you believe me,” said Neerav smiling at her. “Hope you did not get bored?” Neerav asked Reshma looking at her and observing her for the reaction.

I enjoyed it but it will be more fun playing so what if I can’t play well like them she thought and replied smiling “I think next time I will enjoy playing,” this statement made both of her friends beam at her.

“We both will team up to win against Neerav,” said Tanisha with a broad smile which made Reshma giggle.

“Still, I will win but yes maybe you will lose with fewer points,” said Neerav unruffled.

“You are that confident of winning,” Reshma asked wide-eyed and raised eyebrows.

“Yes, one must have confidence in his/her capability, and that is very important,” said Neerav. Reshma nodded, and they went downstairs, out of the club, now the sun has set and cloudy sky was painted in scarlet, black color, it was not raining but the rain-drenched road made it quite clear it had just stopped raining, they found a rickshaw and hopped in to reach back in society.


After a few weeks of going to play with Neerav and Tanisha, Reshma was now comfortable calling Neerav her friend and his now and then flirting with her didn’t bother her anymore, rather, she giggled on the jokes he cracked and smiling and turning scarlet at every compliment that came from him;She looked forward to the good morning and good night messages from Neerav and soon they became very close friends. Every night at dinner table Reshma discussed with her mother, the squash match and how much had she improved at the game since the time she played and now she could lose with lesser points and mother would nod in admiration of her daughter capable of learning new things so quickly, overlooking the softness and affection in her daughter’s voice when she took Neerav’s name.


Neerav and Reshma landed up, unwittingly, meeting at rather odd places like sometimes at the garden near to their place, sometimes at temples, sometimes while entering the building and sometimes even in a mall farther from their society to watch the same movie, it felt to Reshma as if some unknown force wanted them to see them together, but she was not prepared for it, she now knew Neerav way better than she had not known him before, although while messaging Reshma his maneuver was that of a very special friend or more, when meeting her he seemed to take it arbitrarily. A fact unknown to Neerav about Reshma was that she was an expert of body language, so reading Neerav was like reading a book to her, but his body language gave confusing signals to Reshma and she never understood what was his feelings for her, his pupil never widened as they landed on her face but the charm on his face and brightness of his smile increased as he saw Reshma, he smiled more in her company; he tried to compliment her at a more personal level like about the hair color she changed so often, the nail paint color matching the tone of her skin, or appreciating the tattoo of eagle near her ankles, earlier these would make her feel Neerav infiltrating her space but later as she spent time with him, she never realized when she had made him the owner of that place.

Soon July passed and August summoned heavy downpour accompanying the romance attributed to it although none of it could be experienced by Reshma with project delivery time coming close she had to work overtime and didn’t get time to spare for friends. Although Neerav sent messages, and she replied, she focused on her project and its delivery. It was important for her career and if she could successfully deliver this project, she could be given a chance to lead the team which was something she pursued for a long time now.


September arrived with the upcoming festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival celebrated with great splendor in Maharashtra, where people bring Ganesh idols at home to worship and then after ten days of “pooja”, “archana” and great devotion, the idol is immersed in the sea water. Since the time they shifted to Mumbai, Reshma’s mother also celebrated this festival every year by bringing the Ganesha Idol on Ganesh Chaturthi and kept it for a day and a half before they immersed it in the water and for this one and half day they used to have relatives coming from all over India to her house for every year and this year she would invite one special guest, Neerav. She was very excited about it and she had already invited all her friends including those from the office to take darshan and be present in “aarti” during that time.

Before Ganesh Chaturthi, they went to visit the Vashi Market in the afternoon to buy an ECO-friendly Ganesha Idol. It was very congested and overcrowded street, with all people zipping in all directions, different smells of mint, lemon, and various other spices came from the snack bar at the pavement, the street was flanked by small and big shops selling everything from clothes, jewelry, flowers, kitchenware, stationery, books to idols of Gods and Goddesses, Pooja Items and even toy shops. After skimming on the street for about ten minutes, they found the shop they were looking for, a huge banner indicated the name of the shop in all caps “THE GAJRAJ SHOP”. They entered the shop with no gates but was flanked by the Laughing Buddha statue joining hands and standing as if to welcome the customers. The shopkeeper, wearing a white shirt and black pants, dark brown chubby face with a thick mustache, welcomed them and asked them to choose the idol. “Do you have an ECO-friendly idol?” asked Reshma.

“Yeah, we have them in that section,” said the shopkeeper pointing to the right side at the back of the shop.

They both went inside the shop searching for the best idol, Reshma pointed her mother to look to her right, where there was a smiling Ganesha, sitting on a golden color throne, wearing golden color “mukut”, wearing yellow color garment called Dhoti with red-colored tippets like garment on his shoulders and eyes seemed to look at them lovingly. His lower left hand in “mudra” of giving blessings, his lower right hand holding a “modak”, the upper right hand carrying a conch and the upper left hand carrying small “Trishul”. They bought this Ganesha and left. They returned from the same jam-packed street but now it was raining and more strenuous to escape from the place expeditiously but they eventually reached the main road and took a rickshaw home.


On Ganesh Chaturthi, Reshma, clad in a golden maroon salwar suit, wearing light makeup with her mother, wearing red saree, bindi, bangles and all the other family members who came at their house for this festival celebration, did “Ganapati Sthapana” in Northeast corner of hall and decorated it with flowers, did first “aarti” and “pooja”, then distributed “aarti” and “prasad”. Tanisha, dressed in a yellow salwar suit, came in the afternoon for “darshan” and met Reshma, who gave her “prasad”. Reshma asked about Neerav, Tanisha said she didn’t know when he will be there for “darshan.” “Maybe he will come in the evening,” said Tanisha. Reshma nodded in reply but said nothing. She was expecting him to come in the morning. The entire afternoon friends and guests kept visiting her place.

In the evening, Reshma got dressed up in blue and white color anarkali dress with floral patterns, waiting for Neerav to visit home, and waited in the hall, it was now seven in the evening, it was dark and raining heavily, the “aarti” started and everyone’s attention was towards the idol decorated with flowers and lamp on it right side with incense stick effusing mellow fragrance of sandalwood but Reshma’s mind was preoccupied with thoughts about Neerav Why didn’t he come? Is he all right? Have I done something wrong? They were twirling in her mind. After the “aarti” she went inside her room, little vexed and annoyed. As she huddled on her bed, her mother’s voice came from the hall “Reshma your friend is here,” and she rushed out gleefully, but to her surprise, it was not Neerav, she gazed at her mom and said, “Meet Kamat sir, he is my boss, Thank you for coming, sir.” Kamat was wearing a traditional attire a golden kurta and combed his hair a little different than he does at the office, Reshma noticed it, she thought it made him look a few years younger, she was about to giggle but didn’t. Kamat collected “prasad” and wished to talk to Reshma but Reshma was not in the mood to talk, so she gently told her boss, “I will come till the society gate with you.” with a smile on her face, so Kamat who was planning to sit and meet her family and talk to her, silently joined hands in “Namaste” and said, “see you aunty” to Reshma’s mother. Reshma’s mother liked Kamat but she didn’t tell him it would be nice if you wait for dinner because she knew her daughter well and understood those softly-spoken words by Reshma meant she didn’t want him to stay, so she just responded with, “Come again another time, you are always welcome” and she joined Kamat to escort him till the home entrance.

That was rude of Reshma, I don’t know why I come to like this girl; she is blatantly honest and anyone can guess that she didn’t want me to stay, but maybe it’s because I am from work and her boss and who wishes to see boss during holidays and this is the reason I like her, she doesn’t flatter me just to get promoted; I like Reshma and yet I have not promoted her because I think she is yet to learn a lot to be in the leading position I will give her that promotion once I know she has reached that level and expertise, but she is closer to that bar now. I love the way she is dedicated to her work, and he smiled, Reshma noticed this and asked: “Sir what happened, you seem lost.”

Kamat wanted to say that he knew about her not wanting him to stay but he didn’t say it because their relationship was formal and he didn’t want Reshma to feel embarrassed for what she did, he liked her that way, so he said, “Nothing.” “You are looking beautiful in traditional dress,” he said gazing at her, making Reshma a little conscious of herself. She just nodded and said, “Thank you sir” and thought if that compliment would have come from Neerav I would have been on cloud nine and smiled. She escorted Kamat to his car, and he asked just to pull her leg, “So have you started on the project assigned to you?”, Reshma was surprised at the question but was about to answer in the affirmative when Kamat said, “I am just pulling your leg,” and beamed, this amazed Reshma and she smiled, “You really got me, Sir, Thank you for coming,” and this was genuine this time and Kamat knew it. They both waved goodbye. Kamat was proud because this was the closest he had gone to Reshma in all these years. He couldn’t get over this evening while Reshma’s was no more annoyed but the only thing she could remember of this day was that Neerav didn’t turn up as promised.

Today was Ganapati Visarjan, Reshma, her mother, all the family members, and Tanisha completed morning “aarti” and they did “visarjan” in a big vessel at home and they all shouted “pudhchya varshi lavkar yaa,”, with watery eyes. The day went soon, the family members who had come for this festival had left by the end of the day and the house was empty. So Reshma and her mother went down for a walk in garden and Reshma said, “It feels so empty now with everyone gone.”

“Dear, be grateful that our family met and enjoyed the time we spent together, and those who stay with their family take it for granted, even as our family is distributed geographically, we are one family and share lots of love which is very fortunate, and not everyone gets everything in life, someone who has family staying close might not share the love our family shares, while some might not even be lucky to have a family at all, so we must only be grateful,” replied Reshma’s mother

My mom is best; she makes my sadness vanish; I am so grateful to have her as my mother; she is unique… Reshma thought.


Reshma had one more project coming her way, it was Kamat’s way of making her challenge herself and learn new skills, and as usual, she immersed herself completely into her work and so this month flew by faster than the previous month. There was no sign of Neerav or his messages; The last message she received was on the day of Ganapati Visarjan, “I am sorry, I couldn’t turn up.” Neerav vanished, and it seemed he had forgotten Reshma, while Reshma, who was by now accustomed to receiving messages from Neerav and sending replies, missed him badly and even in her busy schedule sent him good night and good morning messages, but she got no reply in return. This made Reshma fretful and fidgety. But she had no time to think about anything else until the project was stable and successfully delivered.


Finally, it was October end; the rains had gone, and the sun shone brightly in the sky; The project was stable and ready for timely delivery. Now Reshma had time to unwind, although she was confident that this project had proven that she could manage things really well, she felt low emotionally because there was no response from Neerav. But it made her look at her emotions now, she shouldn’t have opened that much to Neerav but not a thing could reverse this miserable feeling because the love bug bit her and no amusement could overcome that hankering for Neerav. I am gone case now… help me, God… thinking this Reshma went to sleep on her cozy bed. Contrarily, Kamat was totally smitten by Reshma, the smell of her perfume stayed in his memory, it was a different perfume she wore that night at her house than she wears at the office daily, that day her fragrance was like a bouquet… thinking this he slept dreaming of her being with him someday.

Part 4: The Delightful Tick

November marked the beginning of winter in India, but in Mumbai, alleviated sweltering was the only thing that signaled winter, which was decent consolation from blistering summers. With Diwali round the corner, kids enjoyed their Diwali vacations by playing in the garden and enjoying pool facilities throughout the day.

Reshma left for the office, crabby for that day, which was her birthday because she had not received birthday greetings from Neerav. Most friends and relatives sent her birthday greetings, including Kamat who waited by the moment until it was twelve in the morning to wish her, “Wishing you a thrilling birthday. May God give you loads of happiness. Keep smiling the way you do and keep spreading the pleasantness like a flower spreads its fragrance. All the best. Take care.” Her mother prepared a special dessert, her favorite, “dal ka halwa”. Her best friend Tanisha wished her on her birthday; her family members wished her and yet, she was disengaged on her own birthday.

I don’t understand why I am so irritable; I want to celebrate my birthday with the same enthusiasm I do every year, but it’s naïve to expect someone to wish me, we have known each other only now, how can I even miss him… why I am so terrible today… I will not get affected by it and it will not bother me today at all… I will spend this day as wonderful as I do every year… these thoughts changed her mood and her face looked less severe, she stepped onto the bus and replied to all her friends who sent her birthday wishes. She read Kamat’s message. How sweet she thought and replied: “Thank you so much, Sir, for your wishes.”

It was a hectic day at the office, but exactly an hour before she would leave from office, Kamat called her in his cabin On no, he will give me this new work an hour before I have to leave… The birthday messages are HR tricks to compensate for overload of work… thinking this she walked towards Kamat’s cabin and knocked on the door. “Please come in,” came the reply, Reshma stepped inside, Kamat was standing on the other side of the table, he had an envelope in his hand, “you wished to see me, Sir.”

“Call me Kamat, and I have news, both good and bad.” He gestured Reshma to sit on a chair.

“Tell me the bad news first,” she said in a flat voice still standing.

“You are not on my team.”

“I performed well, you said it yourself…”

“Let me finish.”


“So you don’t want the good news?”

Reshma shrugged her shoulders shaking her head, “Sure…”

“Congratulations!! You got promoted,” beamed Kamat.

It astonished Reshma and a melange of emotions swirled through her which she didn’t know how to express, so she only smiled, trying to contain her emotions and tears of happiness from dripping through her eyes. It was a difficult journey, from creating a space for herself in the corporate world to finally finding a company where she was genuinely appreciated for her efforts. She wanted to jump and hug Kamat but didn’t, instead, she tried to express it in the best way possible, “Thank you so much, Sir.” Kamat nodded and extended his hand to her which she happily shook.

“Congratulations, I wanted to give this to you yesterday, but I thought it would spare me of birthday gift if I give it to you today,” and they both laughed and Kamat handed over a promotion letter to Reshma.

“Tomorrow, I will shift you to a new project where you will lead a team of four… don’t let me down.”

“Never.” She beamed.

“Good. You can complete your formalities in the HR office now before leaving today so that tomorrow I will introduce you to your new team.”

“Good evening,” said Reshma and left his cabin.

It was the best day of my life Reshma thought, her face glowed and she couldn’t help but smile, she got into a celebratory mood till the time she left the office and decided that she will take her mother out on dinner and surprise her with her promotion news. Reshma called her mother and told her to be ready by the time she reached home. When she reached home, she saw her mother dressed up in a scarlet saree. “Wow, you look beautiful. I will get ready.”


Reshma got ready, and she was wearing a floral top and long skirt with matching earrings and tied her hair in a stylish bun. Her mother said, “Here is your birthday present.” she handed over a beautifully wrapped gift to Reshma which she opened and was surprised to find a beautiful bracelet that seemed to be custom made with these words engraved on it Reshma, you are amazing, Love you forever. This present moved Reshma, her eyes sparkled with tears of joy and she hugged her mother. “Thank you, Mommy. Today is the best day. You know what I got promoted,” she said with hands on her mother’s shoulders. Her mother kissed her on her cheek and said, “You deserve it. I am proud of you.”

Reshma and her mother returned after having a lavish dinner at the Royal Meridien Hotel, Reshma’s mother kissed her good night. In her room, Reshma contended and jubilated sat on the bed thinking It was an awesome day… and I was sulking over Neerav… how naïve of me… I was a fool to think he feels the same about me as I do… Yes, I think I like him… but I should just rein in my thoughts about Neerav… and she slept like a baby that night and woke up earlier than usual excited about her new role in the office.

That day went fast with Reshma taking new responsibilities and meeting new team members, although she was not reporting Kamat now, she still took suggestions from him as she had learned a great deal from him while working in his team. The day was over and she was just leaving office when Kamat offered to drop her home, which she accepted. They primarily discussed work on the way to Reshma’s place, she thanked him when they reached her society, Reshma got out of the car, waved Kamat goodbye and Kamat drove away.

When Reshma reached home, her mother was waiting home very excited and Reshma could discern something outlandish in her bearing. She freshened up before dinner and sat on the dining table where food was served, she could sense her mother’s deliberate effort to conceal something which she wished to divulge, so she asked her casually “Okay, tell me what is it…”

“No, only after dinner.” Her mother smiled with an enigma in her eyes.

“As you wish.”

After dinner, they sat on the sofa in the living room and Reshma discussed the new role and team, her mother then suddenly took out her mobile from beside her and showed her a picture “A proposal has come for you from his parents, his name is Mitesh” pointing at a man in the picture. Reshma’s face turned pale.

“Mommy, please, I have just started my career. This can wait. I don’t even want to consider marrying so telling yes or no or meeting someone makes no difference.”

“There is an age for everything Reshma, making money should not be the only thing in life…” Her mother’s voice was firm.

“Okay, Mommy. But I will have the final say.”

“Sure,” she said looking less intense.


Reshma went into her room, she saw a message on her mobile “Hey, you missed me a lot… and I missed you too, sweetheart.” Reshma jumped the message was from Neerav. I missed you but where the hell he has been till now… Why is he responding so late… She controlled her thoughts and also the urge to reply almost instantly He will have to wait for my reply… Why I should respond immediately… When he took months to answer my many messages… I will reply in the morning… she thought and slept peacefully after all she was delighted to know that Neerav was back.

Reshma woke up late on that Saturday morning, the first thing she did was pick up her mobile and reply but she saw many messages from Neerav: “Where are you? Why are you not replying? Are you angry? Come on… Okay, I am sleeping but reply…”

A big smile adorned Reshma’s face when she read the messages and she replied: “I am not angry at all, why should I be, you are not liable to tell me anything.” Almost instantly came the reply: “You can be angry and demand answers from me.” Should I tell him what I feel about him… I think he likes me too… but what if all this is just friendship for him… I should keep a distance from him because I have feelings for him and being with him will make me insane as it did before… she thought.

“I had gone to my native place because my mother was ill. I didn’t have a mobile network there so I couldn’t contact you. I missed you.”

“How is your mother now?”

“I made her come with me here. She is fine now.”


“Do you like me?”

This question flabbergasted Reshma, what should I say? Is he serious or playing games with me? But I should be true to myself and tell only the truth… her eyes were wide open… “What do you mean?”

“Do you want to be more than a friend to me? Because I like you and have feelings for you.”

“Yes,” Reshma overwhelmed with the feeling of love, joy, and amazement, replied. She couldn’t believe that it was all coming true like a dream. Reshma was on cloud nine because everything she wished for in her life was coming true. She was eagerly waiting to meet Neerav to look into his eyes and see the truth in his words and express her feelings for him.

Reshma wanted their first meeting after the confession of their likeness for each other to be special so she waited until she found time from her work to meet Neerav. Neerav was also busy, so they both exchanged messages. That week went by fast and they couldn’t meet each other.


They met on Saturday evening in a Vashi park near their society. It was a little breezy and cold in the Vashi Park, guarded by tall trees and fenced by neatly cut long grass, it had a huge sculpture of women sitting with pot in her hand and filling water in it from the fountain water at the center of Park. Reshma waited for Neerav in the garden near the fountain, in a pink dress, her unswerving hair untied, she was a little anxious, parading in front of the fountain holding both her hands in front of her, and thinking Hopefully it will not be that weird, I don’t know how to look in his eyes, I am a little nervous about meeting him, should I go back home… maybe I am dreaming… He might not come but as she was thinking Neerav entered the garden through main entrance wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Reshma’s heart throbbed, her legs froze, her eyes radiated love and eyelids felt heavy, smile sparkled on her vibrant face when Neerav came close to her “Hi, I missed you,” he said and held Reshma hands, she looked into Neerav’s deep dark eyes “I missed you too,” he embraced Reshma who turned scarlet. He touched her cheeks. “I am sorry for going away,” Reshma smiled. “It’s okay.”

They both sat down on a bench near the fountain when Neerav looked into her eyes and said, “I don’t know what to say, I mean I am thrilled that we are together.”

“Me too,” Reshma bit her bottom lip.

Neerav looked into her eyes and said, “When I see you, I feel I can win everything… I feel like I have everything I ever wanted… When I am with you I feel all problems have vanished…”

Reshma smiled, “When you were not there, I felt rootless… I felt scrappy… I lost the ability to find my laughter…”

“Now I am here and I won’t go, I promise…”

They just looked at each other, embracing each other, smiling and complimenting each other, discussing what was the first impression when they saw the other. “I thought this girl is strong, holding so many bags along with an umbrella and… I also thought about how beautiful you are when you turned to look at me…” Neerav said.

“I thought this is a gentleman who knows how to respect women.” They both smiled.

“So anything new?” asked Neerav, putting a strand of hair on Reshma’s face behind her ear.

“Oh, yes!” Reshma jumped. “I got promoted.”

“Wonderful, Congratulations,” said Neerav and hugged Reshma.

“So, how is your mommy?”

“She is settling here. This place is new to her.”


“Should I meet her to check on her health?”

“Well… I think you can wait.”

As the sun set behind tall trees of the garden, they meandered out of the garden holding hands. As they reached their society, Neerav left Reshma’s hand abruptly, “good night,” he said, left hastily and vanished. Reshma didn’t react to his peculiar behavior, she just stood there for a moment thinking was that at all true or dream… oh, I have gone crazy… and she entered society and then moved towards her building unconscious of everything around her; even the noise of crackers didn’t startle her. She walked into the lift and then rang the doorbell of her house absentmindedly. Her mother opened the door and smiled, Reshma smiled back not looking into her eyes and slipped inside her room. She kept on replaying every moment spent with Neerav in her mind until her mothers’ voice brought her back to this moment, “I am shouting from such a long time, come to have dinner.”

Reshma took dinner while her mother was busy telling her about how she could formulate the new recipe of curry she made that day, to which Reshma kept nodding. After having dinner and helping her mother clear up kitchen, Reshma went inside the room, saw a good night message from Neerav, “The moon and stars gathered around, in the darkness that surrounds, are here to wish a happy night to my sweetheart for whom my heart pounds 🙂 “

“Stars are bright and the moon is in sight. I wish my darling good night.”


Soon the festival of lights, Diwali, arrived and Reshma helped her mother decorate the house with Diwali lamps, flowers and “rangoli”, and also in making sweets and snacks and decorating the idols of Gods and Goddesses. That evening she got ready for “Laxmi Puja” wearing a pink-colored “lehenga” with white borders, her hair combed with side partition and tied in half pony, she wore long earrings and pink-colored bangles with light makeup and small pink bindi. Her mother wrapped in a golden color saree called Reshma, “Reshma it’s time for puja, come fast.”

“Yes, coming” and Reshma rushed for the puja. When the puja was over, Reshma took blessings of her mother by touching her feet and then ate “prasad”. They both went to meet their friends and wish them in society’s garden. Reshma saw Neerav in the garden wearing orange kurta and she smiled to herself Wow… he looks dashing… She wished her friend Tanisha happy Diwali and got busy wishing all the other aunts and uncles in the garden. Finally, she moved towards the garden area where she saw Neerav but he was not there, her eyes searched for him but she couldn’t see him anywhere in the garden. When she turned back, she saw him going back along with his mother, she wanted to run and wish him there but thought against it I don’t know why he left, maybe he didn’t see me or maybe, aunty wanted to go back home… Although she didn’t think too much about it, she was sad and lost her smile because she didn’t get to wish Neerav personally. When they came back home, Reshma rushed into her room and sent Neerav Diwali wishes, the reply came instantaneously and Reshma’s face lit up with a smile.


Once Diwali was over, routine hectic life kept Reshma and Neerav busy for months, the only way they could communicate was by messaging each other during the day and sometimes even at night. Reshma’s mother pushed her to meet Mitesh but Reshma devised some or other reasons to avoid meeting him. Reshma was feeling jubilant for her career was on full thrust, and with Neerav by her side, she felt she could conquer the world.

Part 5: The Shattering of Delusion

February welcomed a rare breeze making the city shiver, but Reshma’s soul was warm with the love for Neerav, her mind wouldn’t stop calling his name and when they met each other, it felt the entire universe wanted to see them together. February was ending and today Reshma woke up excited and waited to meet Neerav because it was his birthday, she checked her messages as she sat in her room, but Neerav had not replied to the wishes and messages sent by Reshma early morning… What happened? He must have overslept… it’s the weekend… Reshma waited till the afternoon yet there was no reply which made her edgy, she was parading in front of her bed with mobile clutched between both her hands, Why he is not replying?… Is he okay? I can’t go to his place… He is not comfortable me talking to his mother…… I noticed that… I have this pit in my stomach… something is not right… I should try calling him… Reshma tried calling… why his phone is unreachable? Has he gone to his native place again? Why is he doing this to me? Why didn’t he tell me or even message me before leaving? Neerav’s insouciant attitude aggrieved Reshma… he did it again… and it hurts a thousand times more than it did before… Am I being too harsh… I should call him on his landline… and her annoyance turned into a fret, she called Neerav’s landline phone. “Hello, can I speak to Neerav?”

“He went out of town,” answered a man’s voice.

“Okay, thanks.” Reshma hung up the call.. he is out of town… why didn’t he inform me before leaving?… what happened?… Reshma’s mind was in turmoil, she couldn’t understand what this meant, she had made plans for Neerav, a birthday gift, bouquet, and a handmade card… what should I do with these gifts? I don’t know if I am expecting too much from him… maybe I am being too clingy… Perhaps he had some work for which he had to leave urgently… and she slumped over the bed.

Time crawled by that day for Reshma, she worked on her laptop the entire day and didn’t leave it until late night when she lay clumsily on her bed… I am missing him… she remembered that Neerav had a social network account where he uploaded all his pictures. Although she didn’t have an account on that site before she opened an account just to see his pictures. She found Neerav on the networking site and followed him. It delighted her to scan through his profile and pictures. But one picture which was just uploaded grabbed her attention, it was Neerav’s picture with a girl — an intimate picture with Neerav’s hands were on her waist, and her hands over his shoulders, both looking into each other’s eyes and smiling, it disturbed Reshma. They captioned it: When your ex falls in love with you again. Reshma — wide-eyed, her face pale and lips quivering, felt numb. She couldn’t comprehend His ex… This is Prerna and Neerav is with her… He didn’t bother to break up with me before… she kept her phone aside and lowered her head, she knew that it was over. She felt every ounce of spirit being squeezed out of her, her eyes effused tears of burning pain in her heart, she tried to stop them but they wouldn’t stop, so she closed the door of her room and lay on the bed crying the entire night.

Part 6: The Second Chance

It was not the heat of March which sweated Reshma but that of fury at her own lack of judgment. She became hostile and grouchy. Her face carried a frown and when she laughed, it was fake. Reshma wanted to talk to Neerav and vent her anger but he had not returned, nor was he reachable on the number he gave to Reshma. The memory of him vexed her, his name was ample to create turmoil in her mind. Reshma even stopped spending time with Tanisha whose presence reminded her of Neerav. Even after such conduct which bruised her, Reshma still had a soft corner for Neerav which longed for him to come back to her which she couldn’t afford to nurture and so she changed her number. Now she wouldn’t wait for Neerav’s call and her heart fell silent as her phone. I had to do this… I can’t love him, he cheated me… I had to tell my heart it’s over… I should stop waiting for him to call me…

It was April when Reshma received a message from an unknown number, “Hi, I am sorry I had to leave urgently, I took your number from Tanisha, why did you change your number?”

“Who is this?”

“Neerav.” Reshma was on the verge of a meltdown but gathered herself. This name brought back the feelings and emotions for him she had repressed. A part of her was happy, and another part was displeased and wished to block him. She attended the latter while suppressing the immense desire to talk to him. How can he act as if nothing happened… I need not give him another chance… He doesn’t deserve it… But he must be given him one chance to explain… STOP… No, I won’t… She sat in her office with mobile clutched in both her hands kept in lap, eyes staring at the mobile. She wanted to leave all her work in the office and go home but she couldn’t. Her head banged and she couldn’t concentrate on her work, with great strain she dragged through the day.


It was the weekend and Reshma lay in her bed crestfallen. Her mind and heart were in conflict on whether to give Neerav another chance. Although she blocked Neerav from calling her, she failed to block him from her heart. The contrast bewildered her in her emotions and couldn’t stop her mind from incessantly generating clashing thoughts that enraged her. The doorbell rang and since her mother had gone out of town, she immediately stood up to get the door.

She was flabbergasted when she opened the door; It was Neerav standing in front of her. He hugged her. She was too shocked to react to that. “I just came today, where is your phone? It worried me…” She didn’t react, her face tightened. “What happened?”

“Don’t ask me. I saw your picture with Prerna. You are a liar and a cheater. I think we are done and you can just leave.”

“Oh… no, no, no… at least you should have asked me before misunderstanding me.”

“What is there to misunderstand? You explained in the caption.” Reshma showed him the picture.

“No… Look we met at work, I told I was with you, besides I lost my phone a day before it was uploaded and this picture is old, I don’t know why she uploaded it and when… She tagged me that’s why it’s on my timeline.”

“I would accept your story if you had informed me you were leaving the city or called me to let me know whatever is going on.”

“I am sorry. Look I had to leave the day before my birthday because of urgent work in Pune, I didn’t inform because I was to return on birthday but then my mother, who was with me because she had to meet a relative, fell from stairs of their bungalow which led to a fracture in leg so I had to stay.”

“Why didn’t you contact for an entire month?”

“I lost all my contacts. I couldn’t come to Vashi leaving my mommy in Pune. I worked from the Pune office and my mother is still in Pune. I came only for you. Now I need a long hug.” Reshma willingly gave him a hug, tears trickled through her eyes knowing that now she can be with Neerav. Neerav wavered her hair and consoled her holding her in his arms.

Neerav had to leave soon to Pune to take care of his mother, but his visit had made Reshma confident of his love for her.

Part 7: The Unanticipated Ending

Months passed by and in July with rains came the moment which was most awaited by Reshma, she would meet Neerav after months of separation. But this time she was determined to visit him at his place. She rang the bell and Neerav opened the door and became agitated rather than being delighted to see Reshma at his place. There were guests in his apartment. He told Reshma to leave and said he would call later. That night Neerav called, “I am sorry, there were guests at my place and I couldn’t explain.”

Reshma replied calmly, “It’s okay, I understand.” Even though she didn’t.

Why is he so ashamed of introducing me to his family? If he would have introduced me to his family, I also would have confessed about my relationship with him to Mommy. She was waiting for the time Neerav would talk to his mother about their relationship.


Now that Reshma had become serious about her relationship, Neerav seemed to disengage it and behaved rather oddly. He stopped sending messages to Reshma except for replying in a one-liner to messages that Reshma sent him. He gave weird reasons for not meeting her and avoided parties where Reshma would be present.

One day Reshma finally met Neerav when he visited the grocery shop. She didn’t wish to ask him but did “When will you introduce me to your mother?”

“Wait, anyway we are not sure about ourselves, are we?”

“But why are you avoiding me?” She tried best to conceal the exasperation in her voice.

“I have work. Should I just leave my job to see you?” Neerav barked.

“I didn’t ask you to do any such thing. Even I have work.” Now there was resentment in her voice.

“Look, I don’t have time, there is a lot of work in the office,” Neerav defended.

“Okay,” she said flatly.

“Bye. I have to go,” and Neerav left hastily.

What happened to him… I feel it is just me who is trying to make this relationship work… I have to insist on him to tell his family about me…


A week passed by and then she messaged Neerav, “Hi, I wish to meet your family and you are welcome to meet mine. I am serious about us and if you are not, then please tell me.” There was no reply for almost two days and then Neerav replied, “Look I am sorry but my mother has selected someone else for me and I won’t hurt her at any cost, she raised me alone and she has suffered a lot. I will obey her. So I think there is no point in pursuing this relationship. I think it’s best we never see each other or call or message.” It shattered Reshma, her eyes burnt. The message stung her heart but this time she refused to let tears fall; Not for someone who never loved her, and she didn’t bother to reply to his message.


Reshma opened her watery eyes. She could see people clapping and children crowding near the Krishna idol to take “prasad”, her mother held her hand and plodded towards the Krishna idol for collecting “prasad”. She was at the Krishna temple where she had let go of all agony and distress. She was feeling calm, her mind and heart were in harmony with each other, she joined her hands and bowed her head in front of Krishna’s idol in gratitude Thank you for taking away all my pain… Thank you… She had a beautiful smile on her face implying that she forgave Neerav and now she was ready to start afresh.

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Dating : I think I’m in love.

POF : Dont give up!!